29 May 2024,   10:28
We offer the Ambassadors of the US, European Union and EU Member States to hold public discussions on the "transparency" draft law - PM Kobakhidze

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, invites the ambassadors of the United States of America, the European Union and the EU member states to a public discussion regarding the draft law of Georgia on Transparency of Foreign Influence. 

He published the statement on the social media.

"Georgia cherishes and safeguards relations with partner countries. By taking into consideration the main priority of our foreign policy – EU integration – cooperation with high-ranking officials of the United States of America, European Union and EU Member States, inter ala including the ambassadors and exchange of ideas is a profound priority for us.

We value every supportive step and statement of current ambassadors that are directed at solidifying the international positions of Georgia. Thus, every grounded advice and recommendation will further be accepted with special attention and care. In line with the practice introduced in recent years in Georgia, foreign diplomats continue to be actively engaged in the current political debates held within the country.

Particularly intense are their attempts to assume the function of lawmakers in the country and to take active part in the legislative process thereby indicating to the supreme body of representative democracy – parliament elected by the Georgian people – which law to be passed and which not. Irrespective of the fact that this practice of acting as a substitute to a political opposition does not meet the standards of diplomacy, we may treat it with certain understanding by taking into account the scarcity of political and intellectual resources of the opposition.

Nevertheless, we cannot be understanding of the similarly widely-spread practice, whereby foreign diplomats fail to respond to our arguments with theirs behind closed doors, still making groundless political statements in public spaces. During the past days, we have heard critical statements of several foreign diplomats in relation to the Draft Law of Georgia on Transparency of Foreign Influence. Similar to the messages of our political opponents, these statements lacked any and all arguments and justification. I believe that transparency and publicity are the best solution to malpractices. Ungrounded criticism, which we often hear from foreign diplomats, gets generalised to their respective countries by the society, which poses serious risks. Georgian society should be aided in maintaining trust towards partner countries, which is our duty and responsibility to care about. Ambassadors periodically request meetings in a closed format. We never refused to meet and remain happily available for closed meetings in future as well. Nevertheless, as the transparency-deprived political discussion about the Draft Law of Georgia on Transparency of Foreign Influence harms the trust of Georgian society towards our partner countries, we offer the Ambassadors of the United States of America, European Union and EU Member States to hold public discussions on the referred draft law. I am confident that with a live broadcasting of a substantial discussion between the leaders of the Georgian authorities and ambassadors, a much clearer understanding will come to exist in the Georgian society about the essence of the draft law and its necessity of its passing for the protection of state sovereignty".